Stroke risk in men increased by consuming alcohol more than twice a week.

A number of studies have specified the risks and associated health effect of alcoholic binge drinking. Now a new study has revealed that not only binge drinking is a health concern but alcohol consumption in general. Consuming alcohol more frequently than twice a week increases the risk of stroke mortality threefold in men.

The study, published in the Acta Neurologica Scandinavica journal, shows a direct correlation with amount of alcohol consumed and stroke risk. With moderate consumers of alcohol, the risk of stroke is the lowest, while heavy consumption of alcohol increases the risk of stroke. The risk of cerebral haemorrhage increases linearly as the consumption of alcohol increases: the higher the amount of alcohol consumed, the higher the risk of stroke.

The research participants consisted of 2,609 men followed for 20 years. In addition to alcohol, other significant risk factors for stroke include elevated blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, smoking, overweight, asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis, and elevated cholesterol levels.

The consumption of alcohol was measured with the help of a Nordic alcohol survey charting the amount of alcohol consumed at one time and the average number of drinking occasions in the preceding 12 months. The data on cases of stroke was obtained from hospital discharge registers, the Finnish Stroke Register, and the National Cause of Death Register maintained by Statistics Finland.


S. H. Rantakömi, S. Kurl, J. Sivenius, J. Kauhanen, J. A. Laukkanen. The frequency of alcohol consumption is associated with the stroke mortality. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/ane.12243

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